Arsenal’s 9 Central Defenders Since Gabriel Paulista – Ranked

Arsenal, Shkodran Mustafi (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Shkodran Mustafi (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /
10 of 10

1. Rob Holding

Arsenal, /

How mad is this? A player who is up for sale this summer, has looked largely terrible since his return from injury and who is nowhere near most fans’ starting XI, is the best central defender Arsenal have signed since Gabriel.

Hardly much competition though, is there? But with us football fans being a fickle bunch, it’s easy to brush over Rob Holding’s earlier years at the club. He was being tipped as a future England captain, never mind Arsenal’s.

There was even that 22-game unbeaten run in which Holding played an integral part prior to him cruelly damaging his knee at Old Trafford. Of course, that run papered over plenty of cracks, but the Englishman – signed for a measly £2m – looked at the top of his game.

We can’t be overly critical of his displays since returning given the length of his layoff, but just like Saliba now, there was a point were fans were adamant that we’d see the ‘real Arsenal’ as soon as Holding regained his fitness. That obviously didn’t pan out.

Moving on from present day, his superb FA Cup final displays will live long in the memory. Thanks for those, Rob. Really.

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With new recruits coming in it appears as if Holding’s time is up. However, he, unlike many of the others listed, can leave with his head held high.